Bicycle Commuting in Derby, UK

Bicycle Commuting in Derby, UK -
The Hollow, Mickleover to Sinfin Lane, Sinfin

This is a description of my regular relatively car free route from home to work, following one of the suggested cycle paths in "Cycling & Walking in Derby" a map published by the Derby Cycling Group in 1998.

The first part describes the 4.75 mile/ 30 minute journey from Mickleover to Sinfin and the second part describes the bicycle kit used. The route is broken into four stages, separated by crossings of potentially busier traffic flows at Rykneld Road, The Hollow - Littleover, and Stenson Road.

1. The Route

a) The Square to Rykneld Road

Top of The Hollow, Mickleover

It is a short distance from home to The Square. The Square, at the top of The Hollow, intersects with Etwall Road and Uttoxeter Road and is of some interest to historians of old Mickleover. The Hollow itself is a culdesac ending at Brookfield Primary School. The road has a steep gradient allowing one to freewheel down at an exhilarating 25mph+! At the bottom the route crosses Brierfield Way and goes under the A516 bridge before turning immediately left along the track signposted as a footpath.

(The subsequent stretch of track is rough in parts and can be muddy, but no problem for a mountain bike with mud guards. Folk who prefer to keep a clean bike may detour, after or on rainy days, via Haven Baulk Lane - Haven Baulk Avenue - Fresco Drive - Rykneld Road.)

Running along the edge of a field is a straight length of flat track which is far too narrow for side by side travel. On school days between about 8.05 and 8.25am it is a convenient way for students to get to Littleover Community School, so these times are best avoided if one is in a hurry. The A38 is crossed by a well made path climbing up to the side of the A516 and back down. In contrast the next step is a short stretch of ill-defined grassy path to the entrance of Mickleover sewage works. (Time to pick a lowish gear to get over the bumps.) From the sewage works a concrete service road leads down to Fresco Drive and an entrance to Littleover Community School. (An opportunity for another burst of speed until Fresco Drive is reached.) With an eye out for school traffic, it's straight across into a back alley before a short climb to the Rykneld Road roundabout at Callow Hill Way.

b) Rykneld Road to Carlyle Infant School (Carlisle Avenue)

Proceeding straight across the roundabout, the route goes down Callow Hill Way for a short speedy distance before turning left into Woodcote Way. Immediately turn right along a wide jitty, then left at the T-junction and first right. (It's easy to get confused by the twists and turns here.) Ahead is the sight of parkland at the end of a narrow jitty. Turn left and travel Up through the park, gaining a warm glow in the process. Looking back there are open views including Willington Power Station. Past the playing fields and enclosed tennis courts there is a swing park. Here I turn right through the car park with it's speed humps. (Aiming for the drainage slots makes it a less bumpy ride.) At the park entrance on Carlisle Avenue stands the infant school.

c) Carlisle Avenue to Sunnydale Park (Wellesley Avenue)

Carlisle Avenue slopes down to The Hollow (Littleover). At the junction with The Hollow one needs to cross into Cross Close Walk, whose entrance is guarded by some slalom gates. From this path I proceed straight down the road and through the second half of Cross Close Walk to reach Brooklands Drive. It's a right turn and then immediately left into Willson Avenue.
Sunnydale Park

This long stretch of downward road presents another opportunity to pick up some speed, before entering Sunnydale Park. Here there is a short but very pleasant cycle track, passing a water cascade, duck pond and nature reserve. (Congratulations to the builders of this oasis.) All to soon one is travelling down Wellesley Avenue to the busy Stenson Road.

d) Wellesley Avenue to Sinfin Lane/ Wilmore Road

At Stenson Road, I cross at the pedestrian crossing into the jitty beside the newsagents shop to reach Brook Close and Caxton Street. Heading east on Caxton Street past a pub there is a left turn along another jitty to rejoin Caxton Street. Here Caxton Street crosses Coleridge Street and it is easy to spot the foundry chimneys ahead. Passing Browning Street with it's traffic calming measures on the left a footpath sign to Sinfin Lane can be spotted.

Down the footpath there is a steep up/down bridge (suitable for pushing wheeled vehicles) across the railway line. A straight length of path then gets me to Sinfin Lane at it's junction with Wilmore Road. Traffic lights with advance cycle stopping lanes (for turning into Wilmore Road) mark the end of the route and work!

Sinfin Lane

2. Equipment

The combination that works for me is:

Question and Answer information for the "urban cyclist" can be found at The UK urban cyclist FAQ site

Copyright (c) Alan Patterson 2000.
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